Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property (IP) refers to the ideas that have been created by people that don’t have a physical form.

This could be written works such as the text in a book or video game. It takes a lot of effort to develop these resources so IP law exists to protect the time that people have invested in developing them.

Some forms of IP are:

  • Copyright – protects the owner of a work, if other people want to use it they must obtain a licence to use it.
  • Patents – a plan showing how your idea works that if anyone uses this they must pay you a fee to use
  • Designs – a blueprint or plan for making something
  • Geographical Indications – such as Champagne only being able to be used for sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France
  • Trademarks – such as logos, business names

The impact for your digital outcomes is that you will own the ideas and copyright of any work that you produce. However to use other peoples work you must obtain permission. This covers all aspects such as images, text, fonts and videos for example.

See the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office for information about IP in New Zealand.

Questions that you should consider are:

  • Who owns the ideas, images and text?
  • What are the laws in New Zealand?
  • How do you protect your work overseas?
  • What do you need to do to obtain permission?
  • What is fair use of a work?